Overdue rise in base price might come yet
Some things just do not seem to change, whether it is the Irish beating the English for the sixth time out of seven or our processors unwilling to move on the base price for cattle.
In any case, I am beginning to think that we would need a Stephen Ferris-like force to move the factories at this stage. Now, having said that, I did get the feeling from a few of the factory sources I spoke to yesterday that there may be some positive movement in the pipeline.
The kill staying up over the 30,000 mark is definitely not helping and last week's estimated figure was over 33,000 head. At current prices, however, farmers continue to lose a fortune. Selling good R-grade steers at a base of 291c/kg to 294c/kg (104 -105p/lb) is just not sustainable at present cost of production and continues to leave us trailing our UK counterparts by 40c/kg or €150 on a 375kg carcass.
Moyvalley, Liffey, Dunbia and most of the AIBP, Dawn and Kepak plants are quoting a base of 294c/kg for the bullocks, with the base for the heifers ranging from 294c/kg up to 300c/kg.
A few plants, especially in the south, are only quoting 291c/kg for the steers. So farmers, if you are selling, shop around and make a price before you sell.
Moyvalley, Dunbia and Kepak Athleague were mentioned at the 300c/kg for the heifers. The 6c/kg quality assurance bonus is paid on top of all those figures mentioned but again, I will remind farmers to ensure they receive this as I continue to get reports of farmers not getting the 6c/kg even if their stock qualify.
When they enquire about it they are told that it is some kind of mistake and that the money will be sent on to them.
What about the farmers who do not notice or enquire about it? Best price I heard of for heifers was from a plant in the east which paid 308c/kg for over-age R and U grades and 314c/kg including the QA bonus for the ones that were underage.